Why value-added content is the key to selling on social media

In today’s digital world, every brand is fighting for people’s attention, loyalty and money. The question is, how can you differentiate yourself from the rest and actually cut through this noise? Dani Barker, founder of Social Source, tells us how

The biggest mistake you can make when it comes to social media is expecting your audience to pay attention to you, engage with you, and care about what you have to say. You can’t just throw posts out into the algorithm-abyss and expect them to attract 1,000 likes, 200 shares, and 100 new leads every day.

You’ll get the greatest return on your marketing efforts when social media is less like a shouting match, and more like a value exchange.

Therefore, in order to get the attention, engagement and new business that you’re looking for, you need to create content that warrants that attention and engagement. In order to receive, you must first give. But what can you give on social media?

Value-added content.

“Everything is a waste of time without a strong, social-first, creative that provides value.”

  • Katy Leeson, MD at Social Chain

What is value-added content?

Creating value-added content requires you to fulfil one or more of the following criteria with every post you publish:

  1. Educate or inform your audience.
  2. Inspire your audience.
  3. Entertain your audience.
  4. Save your audience time.
  5. Save your audience money, or help them make more money.

We now have a hefty amount of data backing the business case for value-added content. GlobalWebIndex conducted an incredibly insightful study, in 2020, which revealed the main motivations of users when choosing who to follow – and who not to follow – and what types of content they would like to see more of.

Main motivations to follow brands and/or creators on social media:

  1. To learn something new (51%).
  2. To be entertained (49%).
  3. To pass the time (49%).
  4. Shared passions or interests (43%).
  5. To gain inspiration (38%).

Types of content users would like to see more of:

  1. Educational content e.g. how-tos (40%).
  2. Funny content e.g. memes (37%).
  3. Short videos <60 seconds (33%).
  4. Photos and images (33%).
  5. Reviews (32%).

Note the types of content that aren’t on these lists. Your audience don’t follow you for your internal news bulletin style posts, job ads, and product catalogues. Sure, these things are important to post about from time-to-time, but it’s about making these kinds of posts the minority, and allowing value-added content to become the majority of your output.

Benefits of sharing value-added content

Building your social media strategy on a foundation of value-added content will help you to create a seamless sales funnel. This content helps people to discover your brand, engage with your brand, and build trust with your brand – with the ultimate goal of doing business with your brand.

Value-added content is more easily searchable and this helps your content to reach new people. When you create content that matches up, word for word, with what your ideal customer or client types into Google, your content is more likely to get found and then clicked on – whether that be a blog article, a YouTube video, or any other type of social media post. As soon as they see your post they think “Ah, that’s exactly what I’m looking for”. What content could you create that generates that kind of response? For example, I could write a blog on “How to create high-performing social media posts.”

Value-added content is important for attracting new people into your online community, and it’s also important for continuing to strengthen your relationships with them after they’ve chosen to follow you. By consistently providing your community with the answers to their questions, inspiring them, perhaps entertaining them too, they’ll become more and more likely to engage with you. They might save posts that they find particularly helpful, share them with their colleagues or friends, and comment on them, asking for further guidance. All these interactions lead them further into your sales funnel.

And finally, the end goal is, of course, to build relationships so strong that the most engaged members of your online community turn into leads for you to convert into customers – which, since you’ve provided them with so much value already, should be significantly easier than selling to ice-cold prospects. Et voilà!

So, what value could you start adding to your social media content?

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